Van, the pearl of Eastern Anatolia, is a city renowned for its peaceful nature, delicious cuisine, and hospitable approach. Another endless beauty of this city is Lake Van, which is famous for being the largest lake in Turkey. Lake Van, one of the symbols of Van and our country, has such a large surface area that it is also called the Van Sea by the local people.

It is thought that Lake Van, which is the subject of many legends, was formed approximately 200 thousand years ago due to the eruption of the volcanic Mount Nemrut. The lake holds the title of being the largest soda lake in the world. Lake Van always manages to be an interesting route with its pearl mullet, historical churches, unique breakfast, and intriguing islands. You should certainly visit Lake Van, which is crowded especially in the summer months. We will answer all your questions about Lake Van with the guide article that we have prepared for you.


The Unique Treasure of Eastern Anatolia: Lake Van

This volcanic barrier lake, which emerged under the influence of Mount Nemrut, has a huge surface area of 3,715 square kilometers. It is also among the 15 deepest lakes in the world with an average depth of 175 meters.

There are 4 islands in the eastern part of Lake Van: Adır, Kuş, Çarpanak and Akdamar Island. The islands, which host many historical monuments, can be reached by ferry. Ferries are also connected to Tatvan district and Van by rail.

In Van, where winters are harsh, you can see crowds of people coming to visit the lake, especially in the summer months. During your trip to Lake Van, you can visit the islands, explore historical churches, experience the unique Van breakfast, and have a peaceful nature holiday accompanied by the lake view.


Where is Lake Van?

Lake Van is located between the cities of Van and Bitlis in Eastern Anatolia. The distance between the lake and the center of Van is 86 kilometers. This volcanic lake with a surface area of 3,715 square kilometers, also hosts islands of various sizes.


How to Arrive to Lake Van?

There are many transportation options to Lake Van, located within the borders of Van province. You can reach the region by land, air, and rail easily. It is possible to reach Van, which is 1615 kilometers away from Istanbul with a 20-hour road trip. Both direct and connecting flight schedules are arranged to the city.

You can arrive to Van in 2 hours with a non-stop flight departing from Istanbul. If you prefer the railway, you can set foot in the city by reaching the station located 5 kilometers away from the center of Van. You can explore the islands in Lake Van by taking ferry tours departing from the shore.



Aghtamar Island and Holy Cross Church

This lovely island is 35 kilometers away from the center of Van. You can reach the island with a pleasant 30-minute journey by taking ferries departing from Gürpınar. When you come here, you can visit the Holy Cross Church, an architectural wonder of the Middle Ages and see the statue of the Lake Van Monster.

Accompanying the unique view of the island, the Holy Cross Church was built by Khatcḥik-Gagik II Artsruni in 915. The church is dazzling with its exterior decorations, reliefs and the red andesite stone that is used in its construction. 


Van Castle

Van Castle, located near Lake Van, was built by the Urartian King Sarduri I in the 9th century. It is possible to see the Analı Kız Open-Air Temple, Menua and the tombstone of Sarduri II inside the castle, which has become one of the symbols of Van. The castle also hosts cuneiform inscriptions in the Assyrian language. Located on cliffs, Van Castle is flocked by thousands of tourists with its unique view.


Muradiye Waterfall

Muradiye Waterfall, dazzling with its height of 20 meters, greets its visitors in the Muradiye district of Van. Located on the Muradiye Waterfall, which flows into Lake Van, this waterfall freezes in the winter months and begins to flow loudly again in the spring. When you come to visit Muradiye Waterfall, which is rumored to be named after Murat IV, you can spend time in the restaurants here and get lost in a unique view of peaceful nature.


Ayanis Castle

It is known that Ayanis Castle, located 250 meters above Lake Van, was built by the Urartians in 645 BC. You need to come to Ayanis Village to visit Ayanis Castle, where you can see the temples, walls, cubes and living spaces of the Urartian Kingdom.

Activities to Do During a Visit to Lake Van

Lake Van, which has a harsh climate due to its location, is flocked by thousands of visitors during the summer months. The lake is also quite abundant in terms of minerals such as sodium, chloride, and magnesium. You should certainly swim in Lake Van to benefit from this water, which heals various skin diseases. You can also participate in water sports that are organized on the lake.

Lake Van and its surroundings manage to maintain their untouched state. When you visit Lake Van, you can go on long nature walks accompanied by a deep blue lake view. You can immortalize the lake view that you have witnessed by taking interesting photographs.

You can take a little blue voyage by joining boat tours departing from the lake shore. If you like fishing, you can catch the famous fish of Lake Van, the pearl mullet with your own fishing rod.


Have a Comfortable Accommodation Experience on Your Van Trip

You need to spare a few days to explore Lake Van with its peaceful atmosphere, historical texture, and unique natural beauty. During your Van trip, you can benefit from accommodation opportunities in Van City Center.

When you come to the city to enjoy the atmosphere of Lake Van, you can stay at Elite World Van, which is located 22 minutes away from Van Ferit Melen Airport. If you would like to taste the legendary dishes of Eastern Anatolian cuisine and have a comfortable accommodation experience by taking advantage of relaxing facilities such as SPA and wellness, you can make a reservation for Elite World Van. If you would like to get detailed information and reserve your room, you can always contact Elite World Van.